BOSTON -- Boston Bruins prospect Michael Hutchinson knows he’s auditioning for a goaltending job with the team's AHL affiliate, the Providence Bruins.
Prior to Thursday night's game, Hutchinson said he did not want to return to junior hockey and realized this was an opportunity to take the next step in his development. He responded to the challenge, making 33 saves to help the Bruins to a 2-1 overtime victory in the second of a two rookie games between the teams Thursday at TD Garden.
“Hutch was good,” said Providence Bruins coach Rob Murray. “I thought it was a poor goal, the one he did let in. I don’t know if he lost it or he just misplayed it. After that he was lights out. I thought he played excellent. Both our goalies performed well these last two nights. Peter [Chiarelli] was saying Hutch is a guy who could win a game by himself, and he didn’t come too far from that tonight [Thursday] because he made some excellent saves. Hutch really stood in there tall.”
The Bruins originally drafted the 20-year-old netminder in the third round (77th overall) in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. Hutchinson, 6-foot-3, 192-pounds, has played the past three seasons in the Ontario Hockey League.
Hutchinson was able to showcase his skills Thursday, playing the entire game.
“It was huge; I had not played a game since last April -- it’s been a while,” Hutchinson said. “Getting a full 60 minutes in, remembering how long a 60-minute game is, it really didn’t feel that long.”
After Bruins goaltenders Tim Thomas and Tuukka Rask, Boston has four other goalies in camp battling for the two spots in Providence. Veteran Nolan Schaefer has a leg up on the other three -- Hutchinson, Adam Courchaine and Matt Dalton.
“For [the Providence Bruins’] second goalie, there’s going to be a tremendous competition,” Chiarelli said.